A comprehensive site evaluation is critical when you're looking to purchase, renovate, or repair your historic brick home. Getting an expert's opinion on your home and property can save you time and money by identifying areas that must be immediately addressed, allowing you to allocate your renovation and restoration dollars more efficiently. Hiring a historic brick home expert will bring a team of craftspeople skilled in traditional methods, who understand original building methods, and can effectively sort out issues when planning renovations and repairs. Here’s what to expect during a site evaluation of your historic brick home.
How a Historic Home Expert Conducts a Site Evaluation
Your contractor will visit your home and immerse themselves in the property's history. Homebuyers and homeowners sometimes fall in love with a property’s aesthetic features and make an emotional decision to buy or renovate without considering if the home is structurally sound. The contractor is looking at the core elements of the home and property. A historic home expert will ascertain if your home has a solid foundation, structurally-sound roofing, and sufficiently modernized electrical and plumbing. They can help identify invasive or potentially damaging plants on the property, and determine whether there’s proper drainage. They will look for signs of water damage and beyond the building, analyze the safety of walkways, porches, and patios.
Another advantage of a historic brick home expert is their broad knowledge of historic designations. If your home is a designated historic property, they can advise of the bylaws surrounding culturally important buildings to which you must adhere, prior to undertaking any repairs and renovations.
What a Thorough Inspection Can Bring to Light
Since brickwork and mortar are constantly exposed to nature's whims, issues like cracking, spalling or missing bricks aren't uncommon. As long as they are promptly fixed, future problems can be avoided. However, if the brick has been in poor condition for a long time, you may already have water damage, which will add to the cost of remediating any problems with the home. Significant cracks in mortar or brick could indicate foundational shifts or structurally unsound walls. Don't be surprised when your contractor spends extra time examining cracks and tracing them back to the source.
Structural shifts can show up in other ways, as well. Severely slanted or warped floors, doors and windows that stick, won't open, or have cracks running from the corners down the walls, porches pulling away from the building and other misaligned features can indicate a home with serious problems.
Drainage concerns are often a costly fix. If water has failed to move away from the home, it puts pressure on the foundation and can erode the structure. Similarly, water damage from deteriorating roofing or failing brickwork can be expensive fixes, not to mention significant health hazards in some cases. Your contractor will look for telltale signs such as pooling water around the foundation, the condition of the roof and how the gutters and downspouts are placed. Inside, musty smells or discoloration, bubbling or peeling paint, and even visible mold, might hint towards underlying drainage issues.
A Comprehensive Site Evaluation is Worth the Time it Takes
Sometimes the evaluation will take a bit of time, but remember, the essence of the entire inspection process rests on precision and detail. The more information your contractor has, the better informed you will be about the condition of your home and where to best allocate your money. Working together, you and your contractor can maintain your home's integrity while increasing its value and curb appeal.
Contact Renaissance Development when you're ready for a comprehensive site evaluation or for any other advice you may need regarding your historic brick home. Working with our expert team upon completion of the evaluation, you'll be able to make informed decisions about renovations and repairs, while preserving the historic integrity of your old brick home in DC.
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